Optical Sources

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March 15, 2011
Introduction
 Optical Source: the first active component of an optical fiber link
which converts the electrical message signal into light signal which converts the electrical message signal into light signal.
 Optical T
x
- consists of electrical drive circuits, optical sources and
optical coupling devices.
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Introduction (cont’d)
 Types of Optical Sources
- Incandescent Lamps – wideband, continuous spectra
- Semiconductor pn-junction diodes – the principal light sources in
fiber optic communication:
• Light-emitting diodes (LED) – monochromatic, incoherent
• LASER diode – monochromatic, coherent
 The choice of an optic source depends on the geometrical and  The choice of an optic source depends on the geometrical and
transmission characteristics of the optical fiber:
− shape and radius of core
tt ti d di i − attenuation and dispersion
− number of modes
 Specifications: output power, spectral width, radiation pattern,
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modulation capability.
Introduction (cont’d)
 Desired Specifications of an Optical Source
−Directional light output – for efficient coupling into optical fiber
cable
−Output light linearly related to the input current – the output
light must accurately track the information signal.
−Wavelength of the output light must match with the minimum
attenuation and minimum dispersion wavelength of the fiber
cable.
−Sufficient output power
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−Narrow spectral width - to reduce dispersion
−Minimized cost of manufacturing and coupling devices
Semiconductor Physics
How do semiconductor diodes emit or absorb radiation?
 Electrons in atoms/molecules exist only in certain discrete energy
levels.
 Energy levels are separated by BAND GAP energies.
 The electrical and stability properties of materials are highly affected
by the two outermost energy levels:
−Conduction band – contains free electrons
−Valence band – contains bound outermost electrons
 At absolute zero temperature electrons reside in  At absolute zero temperature, electrons reside in
the valence band.
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Semiconductor Physics (cont’d)
Fig. Pure-crystal energy-band diagram
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g y gy g
Semiconductor Physics (cont’d)
 When an electron gains energy ≥ bandgap energy, due to thermal
excitation, external electric field, or collision with a photon, it jumps e c tat o , e te a e ect c e d, o co s o t a p oto , t ju ps
to the conduction band.
 When an electron losses energy = bandgap energy, due to interaction gy g p gy,
with a photon, or spontaneous recombination with a hole, it emits a
radiation with energy = band gap energy.
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Semiconductor Physics (cont’d)
Two types of Emission
• Without any external stimulation • A photon of energy E ≥ E
C
- E
V
Without any external stimulation
• Isotropic, random phase
radiation
A photon of energy E ≥ E
C
- E
V
impinges on an electron
• Emitted photon in phase with
i id h
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incident photon
Semiconductor Physics (cont’d)
Semiconductors – group IV elements, e.g., Silicon and Germanium
 Doping: the conductivity in semiconductors can be improved by adding a small  Doping: the conductivity in semiconductors can be improved by adding a small
amount of group III (p-type) or group V (n-type) atoms – to excite more electrons to
the conduction band
 Two types of charge carrier
• Majority carriers- electrons in an n-type material
holes in a p type material - holes in a p-type material
• Minority carriers - holes in an n-type material
- holes in a p-type material
The operation of semiconductor devices is based on the injection and
extraction of minority carriers.
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y
Semiconductor Physics (cont’d)
Energy-band diagramof an n-type semiconductor
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Energy-band diagram of an n-type semiconductor
Semiconductor Physics (cont’d)
Energy-band diagramof a p-type semiconductor
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Energy-band diagram of a p-type semiconductor
Semiconductor Physics (cont’d)
pn-Junction: a junction between n-type and p-type materials
 Minority carriers diffuse to the other side and recombine with the majority carriers.
Barrier potential prevents further
diffusion of minority carriers
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Semiconductor Physics (cont’d)
 Electron-hole recombination releases a photon. To get a continuous
radiation i e to sustain the electron hole recombination the barrier radiation, i.e., to sustain the electron-hole recombination, the barrier
potential must be overcome by an external forward-biasing voltage.
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Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
 LEDs – the primary source for low cost, short distance, and low bit rate
optical fiber links p
 The forward current injects electrons into the active region, where they
recombine with holes and emit photos with energy = bandgap energy.
S i i
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• Spontaneous emission
LEDs (cont’d)
LED Performance parameters
 Radiance – measure of the optical power radiated into a unit solid angle
per unit area of the emitting surface.
 Response time – time delay between the application of input and the
onset of the corresponding emission.
– Limits the modulation bandwidth
 Quantum efficiency – measure of the number of electron-hole
recombinations that produce photon emission.
Required Specifications for optical communication sources Required Specifications for optical communication sources
• High radiance
• Fast response time
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• High quantum efficiency
LEDs (cont’d)
Characteristics of LEDs
 Low speed ( < 100-200 Mb/s) data rates
 Easy to couple with multimode fiber Easy to couple with multimode fiber
 Medium optical power output, in tens of microwatts
 Require less complex drive circuitry
 No thermal or optical stabilization circuits needed;
 Fabricated less expensively with higher yields.
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LED Structures
LED Structures
 For an LED to have high radiance and high quantum efficiency, the LED
structure must:
–confine the charge carriers into the active region – Carrier confinement
–Radiate the light output in a narrow direction – optical confinement
Carrier Confinement – Heterostructure
T hi hi h t f di ti bi ti th ti i i  To achieve high rate of radiative recombinations, the active region is
sandwiched between semiconductor layers of higher bandgap energies.
 Optical Confinement – to confine the optical field into the active region, the
ti i i d t h hi h f ti i d active region is made to have higher refractive index
• Increases radiance in the direction of the fiber input
• Reduces absorption by the LED material
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LED Structures (cont’d)
g
u
r
a
t
i
o
n
u
r
e
c
o
n
f
i
g
e
r
o
s
t
r
u
c
t
o
u
b
l
e
-
h
e
t
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D
o
Surface Emitting LEDs (SLEDs)
Fig. Schematic of a high-radiance surface-emitting LED. The active
region is limited to a circular section that has an area compatible
with the fiber core end face
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with the fiber-core end face
SLEDs (cont’d)
 A well is etched through the substrate of the device, into which a fiber is
cemented to accept the light emitted from the active region cemented to accept the light emitted from the active region.
• The plane of the active region is perpendicular to the fiber axis
 The circular active area is nominally 50 mm in diameter and 2.5 mm thick. y
 The emission pattern from the active region is essentially isotropic.
 The external emission pattern is Lambertian,
with 120
o
half-power beam width.
 ì = 850 nm and 1300 nm ì 850 nm and 1300 nm
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Edge Emitter LEDs (ELEDs)
Figure: Edge-emitting double-hetero-junction LED.
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ELEDs (cont’d)
 A stripe-shaped double heterjunction ELED has improved radiance
 Active region confined between two layers of higher bandgap energy
• Improves radiative recombinations
 External to the carrier confinement layers are two transparent optical y p p
guiding layers of, which have refractive index lower than that of the active
region but higher than that of the external material.
• Directs the optical radiation towards the fiber core p
 The stripe geometry allows high carrier injection rate for a given input
current
 To match the typical fiber-core diameters (50-100 mm), the contact stripes
for the edge emitter are 50-70 mm wide. Lengths of the active regions
usually range from 100 to 150 mm.
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ELEDs (cont’d)
 The output beam is Lambertian in
plane of the pn junction (q =120
o
) and plane of the pn-junction (q
||
=120
o
) and
highly directional perpendicular to the
pn-junction pn-junction
 ì = 1300 nm and 1550 nm
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Light Source Materials
 Semiconductor materials: group IV elements (Silicon and Germanium)
doped with elements from group III (Al, Ga, In, Br) or group V (P, As, Sb) doped t e e e ts o g oup ( , Ga, , ) o g oup ( , s, Sb)
Ternary alloy: Ga1-xAlxAs, spectrum at 800 – 900 nm
 Quaternary alloy: In1-xGaxAsyP1-y , spectrum at 1.0 – 1.7 μm
 x, y: Lattice constant
 Direct bandgap materials: minimum conduction band energy and
maximum valence band occur at the same electron wave function, k. maximum valence band occur at the same electron wave function, k.
Electron-hole recombination takes place spontaneously
Improved quantum efficiency
 Indirect bandgap: minimum conduction band energy and maximum
valence band energy occur at different wave vectors.
Low recombination probability, and requires a 3
rd
low energy particle
(Ph ) t t
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(Phonon) to conserve momentum
Light Source Materials (cont’d)
Direct and indirect bandgap materials
Emission wavelength for direct bandgap:
) V (
24 . 1
) μm (
E E
hc
= = ì
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g g p
) eV (
g g
E E
LED Power and Efficiency
 The output optical power of an LED depends on the number of excess
minority carriers (holes in n type and electrons in p type regions) minority carriers (holes in n-type and electrons in p-type regions)
 When an LED is forward-biased, carriers are injected into the active region
through the device contacts
• Excess density of electrons n = p, the excess density of holes
electrons and holes are injected and recombined in pairs.
 The excess minority carrier density decays exponentially with time y y y p y
according to the relation:
n = n
o
e
-t/t
where n = initial injected electron density and where n
0
= initial injected electron density and
t = carrier lifetime (from injection to recombination)
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LED Power and Efficiency (cont’d)
 Total number of carriers = Injected carriers + Thermally generated
The total rate at which carriers are generated is the sum of the externally
supplied and the thermally generated rates.
 Injected carrier rate = J/qd; J = current density (A/m
2
), q = electron
charge, and d = thickness of the recombination region
 Thermal generation rate = n/t
 Total recombination rate equation
n J dn
t
n
qd
J
dt
dn
÷ =
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LED Power and Efficiency (cont’d)
 If there is a constant current flow into the LED, and equilibrium
condition is maintained condition is maintained.
 Steady state electron density , n
J
n
n J dn t
> 0
 Internal quantum efficiency in the active region is the fraction of
qd
n
qd dt t
= => = ÷ = 0
Internal quantum efficiency in the active region is the fraction of
the electron-hole pairs that recombine radiatively.
 If the radiative recombination rate is R
r
and the nonradiative
recombination rate is R
nr
, then the internal quantum efficiency n
int
is the ratio of the radiative recombination rate to the total
recombination rate:
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n
int
= R
r
/ (R
r
+ R
nr
)
LED Power and Efficiency (cont’d)
 For exponential decay of excess carriers,
the radiative recombination lifetime is t
r
= n/R
r
and the nonradiative recombination lifetime is
t
nr
= n/R
nr
.
nr nr
 Thus, the internal quantum efficiency can be expressed as
n
int
= 1/[1+(t
r
/t
nr
)] = t/t
r
n
int
[ (
r nr
)]
r
where the total recombination lifetime t is
(1/t) = (1/t
r
) + (1/t
nr
) ( ) (
r
) (
nr
)
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LED Power and Efficiency (cont’d)
 Injected current:
I
R
q R R q R I
t
nr r t
) (
= =>
+ = =
I
q
R
I
q R
R
R
q
r
r
t
r
. and
int int
n n = = = =>
 No of photons generated = R
r
Internally generated LED optical power
ì
n
hc
E R p
g r int int
= =
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LED Power and Efficiency (cont’d)
Example:
The radiative and non-radiative recombination rates of an LED are t
r
= 60 ns and t
nr
= 100 ns. If the drive current is 40 mA and the peak
emission wavelength is 0.87 um.
a)Find the total recombination lifetime.
b)Determine the optical power generated internally. ) p p g y
Ans:
t = t
r
.
t
nr
/(t
r
+ t
nr
) = 37.5 ns,
/ 0 625 d n
int
= t/ t
r
= 0.625, and
p
int
= 35.6 mW
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LED Power and Efficiency (cont’d)
 External Quantum Efficiency – a measure of the optical power
t t th t f th LED output that escapes from the LED
photons generated inetrnally of number total
LED the from emitted photons of number
=
ext
n
 Internally generated photons may be lost due to reflection or
absorption
 Only the fraction of light falling on a cone defined by the critical
photons generated inetrnally of number total
 Only the fraction of light falling on a cone defined by the critical
angel u
c
will be emitted from an optical source
) / ( i
1 ÷
u
n
1
= refractive index of the semiconductor material and
n
2
= refractive index of the outside material.
) / ( sin
1 2
1
n n
c
= u
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LED Power and Efficiency (cont’d)
Fig. Only light falling a cone defined by the critical angel will be
emitted from an optical source.
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LED Power and Efficiency (cont’d)
 External quantum efficiency
í
=
c
d T
ext
u
u u t u
t
n
0
) sin 2 )( (
4
1
where where T(u) is the Fresnel transmissivity.
 T(o) for normal incidence
~
ext
n
 For n = 1 0 (outside mediumis air) and n = n
2
2 1
2 1
) (
4
) 0 (
n n
n n
T
+
=
For n
2
1.0 (outside medium is air) and n
1
n,
int ext ext
2
ext
and
) 1 (
1
p p
n n
n n =
+
~
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) (
LED Power and Efficiency (cont’d)
 Example: Assume the typical value of the refractive index of an
LED t i l i 3 5 LED material is n = 3.5.
014 . 0
) 1 5 3 ( 5 3
1
2
ext
=
+
~ n
 Power emitted from the LED
) 1 5 . 3 ( 5 . 3 +
% 4 1
 Only a small fraction of the internally generated optical power is
itt d f th LED
int ext
% 4 . 1 p p =
emitted from the LED.
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LED Modulation Bandwidth
 The frequency response of an LED is determined by
- The doping level in the active region,
- The injected carrier lifetime t
i
in the recombination region,
- The parasitic capacitance of the LED – causes delay of carrier p p y
injection into the active region.
 For a drive current modulated at frequency e, the output optical
power is given by p g y
(0) E itt d ti l t DC d i t
2
) ( 1
) 0 (
) (
i
p
p
et
e
+
=
p(0) = Emitted optical power at DC drive current
e = Modulation frequency
t
i
= Injected carrier lifetime
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i
LED Modulation(cont’d)
 Optical 3 dB Modulation Bandwidth – a range of frequencies used
t d l t th d i t f hi h th d t t d ti l to modulate the drive current for which the detected optical power
drops by 3 dB with respect to the optical power emitted with DC
drive current.
1
 Optical power linearly proportional to drive current
) 0 (
2
1
) ( :
3 3
p p
dB dB
= e e
1 ) ( ) ( I
2
1
) 0 (
) (
) 0 (
) (
= = =>
I
I
p
p e e
) ( ) (
|
|

|
|
|

| I p e e
) 5 . 0 log( 10
) 0 (
) (
log 10
) 0 (
) (
10log
3 3
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
=>
I
I
p
p
dB dB
e e
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LED Modulation(cont’d)
 3-dB Electrical modulation bandwidt
 Electrical power: p
e
(e) = I
2
(e)R
707 0
1 1 ) (
3 3
2
) I( I
dB dB
e e
707 . 0
2
I(0)
or
2 ) 0 (
) (
3
2
3
= = =
) (
I
dB dB
The optical 3-dB point occurs at that frequency where the ratio
of the currents is equal to 1/2. This corresponds to an electrical
power attenuation of 6 dB.
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LED Modulation(cont’d)
Fig. Frequency response of an optical source showing the electrical
and optical 3-dB bandwidth points
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LED Modulation(cont’d)
 LED Spectral Patterns
 Spectral width = full width at half maximum power
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LASER Diodes
 In LEDs, light emission occurs spontaneously and the output is
h t i d b characterized by
− wide spectral width,
− Low intensity,
− Low directionality i.e., Lambertian pattern and
− Incoherent radiation
 LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission Radiation)
− A more efficient light source for optical communication
• Highly directional and coherent optical sources
 LASER action is a result of 3 processes: Photon Absorption,
spontaneous emission and stimulated emission
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spontaneous emission and stimulated emission
LASER Diode (cont’d)
 Photon Absorption: When a photon of energy hv
12
impinges on the p p gy
12
p g
system, an electron in state E
1
can absorb the photon energy and be
excited to state E
2.
 Spontaneous Emission: the electron will shortly return to the Spontaneous Emission: the electron will shortly return to the
ground state, thereby emitting a photon of energy hv
12
= E
2
– E
1.
• Isotropic emission
• Randomphase
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Random phase
LASER Diode (cont’d)
 Stimulated Emission: If a photon of energy hv
12
impinges on the
t hil th l t i till i it it d t t th l t i system while the electron is still in its excited state, the electron is
immediately stimulated to drop to the ground state and give off a
photon of energy hv
12
.
Sti l t d i i i i h ith th i id t h t • Stimulated emission is in phase with the incident photon
 In thermal equilibrium, density of excited electrons is very small.
 Population Inversion:
Depletion of conduction band occurs at a faster rate. To sustain
lasing, i.e., stimulated emission > absorption, the density of lasing, i.e., stimulated emission absorption, the density of
electrons in the conduction band must exceed the density of
electrons in the valence band -> Population Inversion
• By passing high forward current through the active area
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By passing high forward current through the active area
LASER Diode (cont’d)
 Positive Feedback: to generate sufficiently high optical power, a
l b f h t t d i ti l it ith large number of photons are generated using an optical cavity with
reflecting end mirrors.
Fig. A Cavity resonator.
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LASER Diode (cont’d)
 Stimulated multiplication of photons - > Positive feedback
• Spontaneously emitted photons are partially reflected by the
mirrors and directed to the active layer. These photons
stimulate the emission of other photons.
 Losses in laser diode:
• Absorption by the semiconductor material
• Scattering of light in the cavity g g y
• Transmission through the mirrors - a fraction of the stimulated
optical power leaves the cavity.
 Diode loss is constant  Diode loss is constant.
 Gain can be increased by increasing the forward current
 Laser action occurs when gain > loss
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LASER Diode (cont’d)
Gain and loss coefficients along the
active layer
Optical output vs. drive current
active layer.
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LASER Diode (cont’d)
 The forward current for which gain = loss is called the lasing
th h ld t threshold current.
 After the threshold, a small increase in biasing current results in
fast increase in the output light.
Characteristics of LDs:
Suitable for systems of bandwidth > 200-MHz;
Typically have response times less than 1-ns;
Having optical bandwidths of 2-nmor less;
Capable of coupling several tens of milliwatts of luminescent power; Capable of coupling several tens of milliwatts of luminescent power;
Can couple with optical fibers with small cores and small mode-
field diameters.
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Fabry-Perot resonator cavity
Fig. Fabry-Perot resonator cavity.
The rear facet can be coated with a dielectric reflector to
reduce optical loss in the cavity.
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p y
distributed-feedback (DFB) laser
The lasing action is obtained from the incorporated Bragg
reflectors or distributed-feedback corrugations along the length of
the diode
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the diode.
Modes and Threshold Conditions
 The optical radiation within the resonance cavity of a laser diode The optical radiation within the resonance cavity of a laser diode
sets up a pattern of electric and magnetic field lines called the
modes of the cavity.
Th d f th it b t d i t t i d d t t  The modes of the cavity can be separated into two independent sets
of transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) modes.
 The longitudinal modes are related to the length L of the cavity and
determine the principal structure of the frequency spectrum of the
emitted optical radiation.
 Since L is much larger than the lasing wavelength of ~1 um, many Since L is much larger than the lasing wavelength of 1 um, many
longitudinal modes can exist.
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Modes and Threshold Conditions (cont’d)
 L t l d lie in the plane of the j nction These modes  Lateral modes lie in the plane of the pn junction. These modes
depend on the side wall preparation and the width of the cavity,
and determine the shape of the lateral profile of the laser beam.
 Transverse modes are associated with the EM field and beam profile
in the direction perpendicular to the plane of the pn junction. p p p p j
 These modes largely determine such laser characteristics as the
radiation pattern and the threshold current density.
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Modes and Threshold Conditions (cont’d)
Lasing and Resonance frequencies
 The optical radiation intensity along the lasing cavity (longitudinal)
varies exponentially with distance z.
 Longit dinal electric field phasor:  Longitudinal electric field phasor:
) (
) ( ) , (
z t j
e z I t z E
| e ÷
=
I(z) = optical field intensity
e = Optical radian frequency
| = propagation constant
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Modes and Threshold Conditions (cont’d)
 The fractional optical power loss during a trip through the cavity of
l th L ( 2L) i i b length L, (z = 2L) is given by
L
e R R
o 2
2 1
÷
R
1
= fraction of optical power reflected by mirror 1
R
2
= fraction of optical power reflected by mirror 2
 Fresnel coefficient:  Fresnel coefficient:
2
2 1
2 1
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
÷
=
n n
n n
R
 Fractional round trip gain:
2 1 . \
L g
e
2 ÷
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Modes and Threshold Conditions (cont’d)
 Laser action occurs when fractional gain = fractional loss
A steady-state oscillation takes place, and the magnitude and phase
of the returned wave must be equal to those of the original wave:
• Amplitude condition :
I(0) = I(2L)
( ) ) 0 ( ) 0 ( ) 2 (
2
2 1
2
I e R R e I L I
L L g
= + =
÷ o
• Taking Log:
( ) ) ( ) ( ) (
2 1
end
1
ln
2
1
o o o + =
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ =
R R L
g
th
The pumping source that maintains the population inversion must be
sufficiently strong to support or exceed all the energy-consuming mechanisms
2 1
2
. \
R R L
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within the lasing cavity.
Modes and Threshold Conditions (cont’d)
 Phase Condition:
z
e
L j
o
|
0 (0) , 0 at
1
2
= =
=
÷
m L L
L L L z
z
t | o o
| o
o
2 2 (0) ) 2 (
2 ) 2 ( , 2 At
( ) ,
= = +
= =
 Propagation Constant:
| o o ( ) ) (
ì
t
|
n 2
=
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Modes and Threshold Conditions (cont’d)
 Oscillation frequency
c
nLf nL
m m
nL
L
2 2
2
4
2
ì
t
ì
t
| = = => = =
L ill ti t l th ì h th it l th i
n
m L
2
ì
=
 Laser oscillation at a wavelength ì occurs when the cavity length is
an integer multiple of half the wavelength.
 How many longitudinal modes can the laser support?
• An infinite number of wavelength can satisfy the 2tm condition.
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Modes and Threshold Conditions (cont’d)
 However, the active region provides sufficient gain only for small
f l th hi h b di t d range of wavelengths, which can be radiated.
 The gain in the active region is approximately Gaussian
 where o = spectral width
2
2
0
2
) (
) 0 ( ) (
o
ì ì
ì
÷ ÷
= e g g
 where o = spectral width
 Frequency spacing between successive modes
c
f f f
c
nLf
m
c
nLf
m
m m
2
1 and
2
1
= A = ÷
= ÷ =
÷
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Ln
f f f
m m
2
1
= A =
÷
Modes and Threshold Conditions (cont’d)
 Fabry-Perot laser spectrum
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LD Rate Equations
 For a laser diode in a lasing mode (I
F
> I
th
), relationship between
d i t d t t ti l b d t i d i drive current and output optical power can be determined using
two rate equations: photon density and electron density.
 Photon density: (Stimulated+ Spontaneous) emission + photon loss
Φ h t d it
ph
sp
R Cn
dt
d
t
u
÷ + u =
u
Φ = photon density
C = coefficient for optical absorption and emission interactions
R
sp
= rate of spontaneous emission into lasing mode
p
τ
ph
= photon lifetime
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LD Rate Equations (cont’d)
 Photon density should be in increasing mode towards lasing and
spontaneous emission is relatively negligible.
ph
n n
Cn R
dt
d
t
1
0 , 0 with and 0
sp
= >
>
u
÷ u > ÷ >
u
Electron density must exceed a threshold value in order for photon
d i i
ph
th
C
n n
t
= >
density to increase
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LD Rate Equations (cont’d)
 Electron Density: Injection +Spontaneous Recombination
+ Sti l t d i i + Stimulated emission
u ÷ ÷ = Cn
n
qd
J
dt
dn
sp
t
 J = Injection current density, t
sp
= spontaneous recombination life
time, and d = thickness of the carrier confinement region.
q
sp
, g
 If electron density is at threshold level, injected electrons are just fully
consumed by spontaneous recombination without light emission
dn
th th
n
d
J
dt
dn
= = u
=
, 0 with
and , 0
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sp
dq t
LD Rate Equations (cont’d)
 Steady state solution of Rate Equations at lasing threshold
0 =
u
÷ + u =
u
ph
s
sp s th
s
R Cn
dt
d
t
h u t d t t h t d it
0 = u ÷ ÷ =
s th
sp
th th
Cn
n
qd
J
dt
dn
t
where u
s
= steady state photon density
 Using and adding the above equations, we have
th th
n
dq
J
t
=
sp
dq t
sp ph th
ph
s
R J J
qd
t
t
+ ÷ = u ) (
Stimulated Emission
+ Spontaneous emission
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q p
LD Rate Equations (cont’d)
 Internal Quantum Efficiency
threshold above electrons injected of number
cavity the in prodced photons of number
int
= n
η
i
~ 0.6-0.7 at room temperature
T t l Q t Effi i  Total Quantum Efficiency
threshold above electrons injected of number total
cavity the in from escape that photons of number
ext
n =
I = drive current P = output optical power
) (
) (
) ( 8065 . 0 1
0
int
mA dI
mW dP
m
g
th
ext
u ì
o
n n ~
|
|
.
|

\
|
÷ =
From the straight-line
portion of the emitted optical
power vs drive current
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I = drive current, P
0
= output optical power
p
Laser Modulation
 Two methods of laser modulation
1. Direct modulation 2. External Modulation
Direct (current) Modulation: varying the
drive current with the information signal to drive current with the information signal to
vary the output optical power.
• Photon lifetime limits the upper
modulation bandwidth modulation bandwidth
• Photon lifetime is much smaller than
carrier lifetime
• Non-linear effects during fast switching
input pulses
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Laser Modulation (cont’d)
 External Modulation:
o External modulator is used to vary a steady optical power
level emitted by the laser diode.
o Required for high-speed systems (> 2.5 Gbps) to avoid non-
linear effects such as chirping
o External modulators can be operated at much higher
frequencies than directly modulated lasers
 Types of commercially available external modulators:
• Mach-Zehnder electro-optic modulators using waveguides that
have been laid down in LiNbO have been laid down in LiNbO
3
• Semiconductor-based electro-absorption modulators
 Eternal modulators have the property that their refractive index
i i i
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and bandgap energies vary with the applied voltage.
Laser Diode Structures
Desired LD characteristics
• Low threshold current
• Stable gain and efficiency
• Reduced spectral gain p g
• High output power and efficiency
Different structures
1. Fabry Perot Homojunction laser diode
2. Double heterostructure laser diode
3. Quantumwell laser diode 3. Quantum well laser diode
4. Distributed Feedback (DFB) Lasers
5. Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser diodes (VCSELs)
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Assignment
No Group Title Focus points
1 G2 A Q t ll l di d B i t t 1 G2-A Quantum well laser diode • Basic structure
• pple of operation
•Radiation pattern
•applications
2 G2-B Distributed Feedback (DFB)
Lasers
>>
3 G1-A Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting
Laser diodes (VCSELs)
>>
Laser diodes (VCSELs)
4 G1-B Single mode lasers • Need for single mode lasers
• How to make single mode lasers
• Typical Single mode laser
t t d li ti structures and applications
Dates
Paper Submission deadline: Tuesday 31-05-2011 at 4:30
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Presentation: Wednesday 01 -06 -2011 2:05 PM – 3:30 PM

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